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Beware of toxic fad detox diets.

Byline: MIRIAM STOPPARD

It sometimes feels like I'm banging my head against a brick wall. I've been saying for decades that detox diets, detox products and detoxing in general are rubbish.

Nothing comes close to our own built-in detoxing powerhouse in the shape of our livers, kidneys, lungs and skin - yes skin, sweat is part of our intrinsic detoxing system.

Yet, year after year, I see celebrity books, diets and heavily endorsed products appearing. Only a few weeks ago a health journalist lent her name to the latest detox fad.

At last, a good scientific study has confirmed my beliefs. According to scientists, detox diets are a waste of time and money.

Instead of subsisting on raw fruit and vegetables, they say, and shunning sugar and caffeine to cleanse the body of "toxins", all we need is a glass of water and a good night's sleep.

A myth-busting guide states that our bodies are perfectly capable of protecting themselves from overindulgence. It's a myth that getting rid of waste can be speeded up by special diets, body wraps or pills.

For beginners, the intestine stops many potential poisons getting into our system and the liver destroys those that do. The myth-busting guide, called Making Sense Of Chemical Stories, insists: "This process (getting rid of waste) does not occur any more effectively as a result of taking 'detox' tablets, wearing 'detox' socks, having a 'detox' body wrap, eating nettle root extract, drinking herbal infusions, following a special 'detox' diet or using any of the other products and rituals that are promoted."

It advises: "Save your money: Have a glass of tap water and a good night's sleep."

Television presenter Carol Vorderman has written a book about a 28-day diet plan and another recommendation comes d actress Gwyneth form of a [euro]50 from Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow in the form of a [euro]50 hot chocolate.

The experts are having none of that. Alan Boobis, a toxicologist at Imperial College London, who contributed to the guide, said: "The body's own detoxification systems are remarkably sophisticated and versatile.

having none Boobis, a Imperial don, who e guide, said: detoxification remarkably d versatile. e, as the natural t we evolved in "They have to be, as the natural environment that we evolved in is hostile."

oskins, an consultant : "The only thing on a detox diet " Dr John Hoskins, an independent consultant toxicologist, joked: "The only thing that loses weight on a detox diet is your wallet."

John Emsley, a chemical scientist, dismissed drinking herbal teas or fancy bottled waters as nonsense.

hemical scientist, ng herbal teas or ers as nonsense. llins, a dietician, ng as "a marketing concept".

Catherine Collins, a dietician, described detoxing as "a marketing myth" and a "silly concept".

Quite. The guide is compiled by the charity Sense About Science.

ompiled by the out Science.

They are a waste of your time and money
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 16, 2014
Words:484
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